A prescient president?
“ If we are to have another contest . . . of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.”
— Ulysses S. Grant
According to Snopes.com, President Grant said those words at the Annual Reunion of the Army of the Tennessee in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 29, 1875.
Grant was commanding general of the U.S. Army during the American Civil War and 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877.
“As Grant approached his last full year in the White House, and the coming of the nation’s centennial celebration, he spoke of the importance of ensuring an educated citizenry and maintaining the separation of church and state in order to protect the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution,” Snopes reported.
Nearly 146 years later, on Jan. 6, 2021, the U.S. Capitol was attacked by a throng of people seeking to prevent certification of Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump in the 2020 presidential election. News reports that followed noted the existence of “far-right talk of a coming civil war” among the Capitol rioters, who had been motivated by false claims propagated by Trump that the election had been “stolen” and “rigged.”